Researchers: Hugs can help protect us from colds

PITTSBURGH, Penn. (WIVB) — A hug a day could really keep the doctor away.

Doctors decided to look into the emotional impact of our hugs. They can deliver more than a boost.

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University studied about four-hundred adults. They checked in to the effect of hugs and whether they can protect you from catching a cold.

The researchers say people who received more hugs and greater “social support” were 32 percent less likely to come down with a cold.

A professor of psychology led this study. He says hugging “helps generate the feeling that other are there to help in the face of adversity.”

There is science behind this.

Hugging releases a substance known as oxytocin in the body. Scientists call it the “bonding hormone.” It’s especially present between mothers and newborns.

The study looked at healthy adults. More research may be needed to see about how hugs impact those who have health problems. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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